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Bucks County Commissioner Might Need New ID to Vote

Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia’ s has a flawed driver's license that could keep her from voting this fall. Are you on the list?

Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia may not be able to use a voting booth in the November elections thanks to the state’s new voter ID law, which is perhaps the most strict in the entire country.

The problem is Ellis-Marseglia’s name on her voter registration does not match the name on her driver’s license. "In my case, it is an issue of a driver's license without a middle initial," she said in an email.

Her driver's license lists her full name as "Diane Marseglia," but her voter registration reads " Diane M. E. Marseglia."

The disparity in Ellis-Marseglia's names caught the attention of Pennsylvania's Department of State, which notified her in an advisory letter two weeks ago, "along with District Attorney Heckler, Representative Gene DiGirolomo and others," she said.

Under the new law, she may need to correct that name disparity, or use a different form of that matches her voter registration. The list was generated by cross referencing the data from the DMV with voter registration, and that kicked out a list of names with conflicting IDs.

It's unlikely, however, that everyone on that list will have trouble voting in November, Ron Ruman, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told The Morning Call. But some voters won't have acceptable ID, and that's why the notification letters were sent.

"If they turn me down, to vote, on Election Day," she said, "I will simply request and use a provisional ballot."

But Ellis-Marseglia, a Democrat, doesn't think it will get that far.

"I assume the law will be overturned," she said. "The Voter ID law is a joke and a huge, enormous waste of human resources and money. At a time when we have so many important things to deal with, we have legislators, a Governor, and a Lt. Governor rushing through laws they never vetted. And, as Senator Turzai indicated: [it's] is all about disenfranchising those who are least likely to have a picture ID because they are most likely to vote for President Obama."

In March, Pennsylvania passed before voting. This is one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation. Voter advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, challenged the new requirement in court.

The decision on that case could be released as early as today.

If upheld, Ellis-Marseglia could be joined by more than 750,000 Pennsylvania voters, , who may not be able to vote in November unless the take action to obtain acceptable identification.

Are you on the list?

Did you get a letter explaining your driver's license is not a valid ID for voting? What will you do about it? Is it fair, or no big deal?

Barney Sloan August 15, 2012 at 02:43 AM
The issue is that people born down south more than 40 years ago especially blacks were not born in hospitals and do not have birth certificates. Also there are people with errors in their existing IDs and Penn Dot is giving them a hard time about updating this information. Some states are allowing affidavids to prove who you are not Pennsylvania. Six months is not long enough to catch up with everyone and some states require you to appear in person to get a birth certificate hard for the poor! Looking forward to showing my US Passport which uses my full name and my registration 40 year old voter registration uses an abbreviated version of my middle name. It is up to the polling officers to decide if it is close enough to allow me to vote. Too vague for me. Oh I am a registered Republican and the constitution does not call for an ID to vote.
Tired of Hypocrisy August 15, 2012 at 08:13 AM
The reasoning that some were "Born down South...no birth certificate" does not compute. My father, aunts & uncles were all born at home, no birth certificates (in the 1920's) but obtained them, along with SS numbers, drivers licenses, etc as the came of age. If they were able to do it, why aren't the ones born in the South able to? How do they pay taxes, receive medicare, medicaid, welfare, etc., if not properly documented? Alas, I guess anyone born in the South is a Democrat, interesting. My mothers family came from another country via Ellis Island, all born in their family home and they all have Birth Certificates. If the Southern people were too lazy all these years later not to obtain one, consequence to their laziness, no voting. As for middle initials vs middle names, easy fix & no ones fault but the ones who use various names for different ID's. If there is a spelling mistake, should be corrected immediately, it is not difficult.
Concerned Citizen August 15, 2012 at 01:43 PM
By that logic then, Mike, why not require any person to have proper IDs and background check clearance before they can buy a gun and why not require everyone to have health insurance and carry a card to prove it? Do you agree with that? The bigger issue and important issue is to ask WHY are these laws put into place? Voter ID - to reduce Democratic voter effective turnout and skew the election toward Republicans Gun Laws - to help reduce ability of criminals, the mentally unstable, and those contemplating an imminent crime to get their hands on guns Health Insurance requirement - to reduce the overall long-term cost of health care for the country and assure we have a more competitive workforce now and in the future by giving healthcare access to all (this is obviously simplified, but the point is the reasons are founded in improving the conditions in our country for all).
K & C Floorcovering, Inc. August 15, 2012 at 09:04 PM
No one is required to live as I do, or any other way, for that matter. Any person who votes on a regular basis is recognized when entering by the people running the voting center as a neighbor, friend, store owner, etc. by your response I can glean your party affiliation.
Barney Sloan August 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Read the Philadelphia Inquirer story about a former District Attorney who has been trying to correct her name for three months but is in a catch 22 since every government agency she has approached is asking for an ID with her name spelled correctly to give her the documentation she needs to get a proper ID. Everyone who says this is easy has never had to deal with the government bureaucrats who only know how to follow a script and cannot think for themselves. Example I was not allowed to board a flight in Florida because my ID said Jr. and the airline's programs could not add the Jr. to my name which security knew at the time. It took three hours and two missed flights to finally get through security according to Delta they went through this issue everyday at the Ft. Lauderdale FL airport before the TSA took over ID reviews from the airport police. So don't tell me it is easy to get an ID. Also if you are poor and cannot afford to fly to Alabama to get your birth certificate Oh you can't fly because you don't have an ID so drive Oh you do not have a drivers license so you can.t drive. Take a bus but you cannot affored the fare. So tell me how easy it is to get your ID. How about dirving these people to Alabama if you know it all. My passport has my middle name spelled out but I am not registered with it spelled out I bet I have trouble voting even though it is a similar name.

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